If you’ve spent time on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, you’re familiar with its natural beauty and first-rate food and wine. For those who haven’t had the chance to experience its mix of salty sea air and rolling paddocks, and some of the state’s best wineries, restaurants and providores, the Peninsula Picnic is the best way to get to know it.

The event showcases eight of the region’s most popular restaurants and six of its most renowned winemakers, alongside live music and over 30 local arts market stalls.

“It’s got a real magic about it,” says creative director David Strong. “The event has a country harvest atmosphere with the most beautiful wine and food. It is picture perfect with hand painted signs, bunting, haybales and tractors. The time of year has a sort of serene light.

“It’s really hard to choose what you’re going to eat and drink because they’re all exceptional,” he adds.

Peninsula favourites, including winery-restaurants Montalto and T’Gallant are back, as are Merricks General Wine Store and Prancing Horse Estate, which will be there with its range of natural and organic wines. There will be food by Green Olive at Red Hill, Flinders Hotel, Max’s at Red Hill Estate, DOC Mornington, Stables Smokehouse and Greek restaurant Alatonero. Polperro is also joining the Picnic for the first time.

There will be wine education classes throughout the day – Polperro, Montalto and Queally will each host 30-minute talks about their wine, vineyard and the region – and chef Adam D’Sylva (Tonka, Coda) will run a cooking demonstration.

The Cat Empire is headlining the live-music program. Also appearing is singer-songwriter Bob Evans; Peninsula-bred Harrison Storm; up-and-comers Nyck; and New South Wales quartet All Our Exes Live in Texas.

All Our Exes Live in Texas “are divine to listen to” says Strong – “perfect for an afternoon sitting, enjoying some wine and just listening to the sounds.”

So pack your picnic rug, pick a spot on the grass, and settle in until sunset.

The Peninsula Picnic is at Mornington Racecourse on Saturday April 1. Buy tickets here.

peninsulapicnic.com.au